This party season, it’s OUT with big volume hair, body glitter and the classic red mani and IN with bedhead mops, molten body sheen and punked nails. Susannah Taylor has your need-to-know beauty guide for the festive season ahead.

Any products in this article have been selected editorially however if you buy something we mention, we may earn commission


OUT: Thick cakey foundations IN: Fresh but flawless skin

Get the first foundation step wrong and you could end up like a caricature of your normal self. Just because it’s party time doesn’t mean it’s an excuse to go OTT. Plus, foundation technology is now so utterly sophisticated that there is one for every skin type. My top picks for flawless but glowing skin are:

For normal to dry skin: Laura Mercier’s Oil Free Tinted Moisturiser SPF20 , £33 this gives a glowing luminous complexion and somehow is traceless once applied.

For normal skin with a few blemishes: YSL Le Teint Touche Eclat Foundation , £28 available in 22 shades is a magical foundation that gives a glowing natural coverage with flawless radiance.

For oilier skin prone to breakouts: Hourglass Immaculate Liquid Powder Foundation , £50. Fans of this product have actually seen improvements in their breakouts and scarring. They are so addicted that there was a virtual revolt when its production was halted due to a packaging alteration.


OUT: The zig zag parting IN: The side sweep

A few years back there was a trend for the ‘zig-zag’ parting which was an attempt to create a faux natural centre parting. However, this season partings are definitely one of two ways - straight down the middle hippy style or way over to one side. For day time, the centre parting looks amazing, but if we’re talking glamour, then the latter is the way to go. Over the years I have been lucky enough to learn the following side-sweeping tricks from some of the best hairdressers in the world:

1. If you want a touch of glamour then line your parting up with the centre of your eye - this is the most flattering spot for your face.

2. If you want to up the glamour stakes even further, opt for an even lower side parting lined up with the outer corner of your eye

3. If your hair hasn’t been pushed this far over before you might get a few flyaways at your parting. These are easily fixed by the genius new smoothing hair tool that is John Frieda’s Flyaway Tamer , £10.99


OUT: Earrings IN: Hair jewels

There’s a new type of bejewelled accessory in town and that’s one you can wear in your hair. This Christmas, the best place to showcase some sparkle is in your locks. It’s a look seen on many catwalks, from vintage butterflies at Oscar de la Renta to crown-like hair bands at Dolce and Gabbana. Whether you choose a hair band worn with hair either up or down or a vintage diamante clip tethering back the tendrils of a loose chignon, hair accessories are a guaranteed party prettifier. Just leave off the chandelier earrings.


OUT: Classic red IN: Punked nails

Classic red nail varnish will always be that - classic. Red is perennially stylish, and you can’t go wrong with it, but for this season, it just feels a bit too ‘nice’. Fashion has become a bit edgy - all leather trousers, black lace and gothic references, and nails are following suit. My suggestion is to get tip-sy with some edgier, darker shades such as navy blues, dark purples, metallic greys, and even black instead.

My favourites come from Chanel  who always seem to hit the nail on the head (sorry) every season - try Navy Satin, Black Satin and my new found favourite Charivari, a slightly murky purple, £18.


OUT: Glittered skin IN: Glimmering lids

If you are still buying those big powder puffs with a hint of gold glitter in that you dab on your decolletage, then stop. Body glitter in any form should be reserved for ’70s parties or worn by little girls in princess dresses. There are two exceptions for glitter and that is in nail varnish (there are some very cool glittering top coats soon to be reviewed on GTG), but it also looks great around the eyes. The Chanel catwalks showcased some amazing large chunks of silver glitter on models’ eyelids, but that’s probably impractical for parties (get one in your eye and you might have to go home early). The best way of wearing glitter in real life however is by grabbing a Charlotte Tilbury Luxury Eye Palette , £38 which comes in many different colour ways. All of them have a four step application process: Prime, Enhance, Smoke and Pop. The ‘Pop’ stage adds a celestial shimmering layer to the rest of the colours. Genius. My favourite palettes are Rock Chick and UpTown girl - I’d say they’re also the best stocking filler a man could buy (hint hint).


OUT: 100 deniers IN: Gleaming bare legs

Perhaps the northerners have it right after all - forget the black opaques, the sexiest legs (yes, even if it’s minus two degrees outside) are bare ones. Obviously you have to make sure wherever you’re going has heating, but I really believe a great evening dress can be ruined by ugly black opaques or (God forbid) sheer black or flesh coloured tights. Of course, after a few months of hibernation already, they might need a polish up, but that’s nothing a few products can’t fix.

Firstly use a great body exfoliator from thighs to toes (my all-time favourite is REN’s Moroccan Rose Otto Body Polish , £32), followed by a deep moisturiser such as Nuxe’s Reve de Miel Creme Corps , £19 which leaves skin super soft.  If your skin is on the blue-tinged side then try a gradual tanner like Sienna X Gradual Glowing Self Tan , £15.95 which is one of the most believable colours I’ve tried (I use it all summer). Finally, finish off with This Works Perfect Legs Skin Miracle , £37 which is a must-have for any bathroom cabinet - it smoothes away imperfections (bruises, skin nicks etc) and gives skin a light golden glow.


OUT: Subtle smokey eyes IN: The hell-for-leather rock chick eye

This season, if you’re going to do a smokey eye, make sure it’s a proper one. From Cavalli to Tom Ford, deep, dark eyes smouldered from many catwalks. Your essential kit? A smokey eye palette. Bobbi Brown have some amazing ones, but my favourite is the Evening Out set , £80 which consists of a set of shadows, a mascara and all the brushes you need to create the look in one mini kit. To add further depth, be daring and line upper AND lower lids with a long lasting kohl pencil. Our all-time favourite in the GTG office is the YSL Long Lasting Waterproof Eye Pencil,  £19 which is smudgeable for a minute and then it sets and lasts way past bed time.


OUT: Make-up down your face IN: Make-up that lasts the night

There’s nothing worse than going to the ladies half way through your main course and realising that your mascara is already half way down your cheeks and the lipstick you had taken 10 minutes to apply is nowhere to be seen.  I’m not a massive fan of long lasting foundation (I don’t really want a product to promise to stick to my cheeks for 24 hrs, for me that screams ‘PORE CLOG!’); however here are a few tricks that might ensure you still look presentable come midnight this New Year’s Eve:

Clinique Bottom Lash Mascara , £12 - a genius pocket-sized mascara with a tiny wand which is not only amazing for coating every single bottom lash, but the formula is totally smudge resistant. I wear it for working out too, and have never looked smudged to date.

MAC Fix , £8 (travel size) - a spritz of vitamins and minerals, this calming lotion also fixes make-up and adds radiance. A must-have.

Hourglass Veil Mineral Primer , £52 - So I’m not a fan of long lasting foundation but I do love skin primers. Much loved by make-up artists and beauty editors, this one is fast becoming a cult classic because it smoothes skin, minimises large pores and helps make-up last longer.

Charlotte Tilbury Lip Cheat in Pillow Talk , £16 - I’ve tried many a lip liner in my time but this one is very clever. It is the perfect suits-all nude shade and gives lips a very subtle nude definition, long after any lipstick or gloss has faded.


OUT: Painted pouts IN: Stained scarlet lips

Painted 1950s style red lipstick can look beautiful but its perfection can look a little dated. The best make-up right now looks a bit more thrown together. Take a tip from make-up artist Mary Greenwell’s rulebook and apply lipstick ‘straight from the bullet’, so that the edges are slightly soft. Alternatively, try a sheer lipstick or crayon to create a red stain. I love the new Phyto-Lip Twists from Sisley which launch on February 1st 2014 - watch this space. If you need it now, try the ever popular  Clinique Chubby Stick , £17 or check out our Gloss Report on lip tints and crayons .


OUT: Volume IN: Super straight or bedhead

Unless you’re channelling Bardot, be careful when it comes to volume. Granted, many people with fine hair relish more oomph, but I would avoid the big bouncy Vanessa Feltz look at all costs. If you’re after volume, dry your hair upside down, then try the Babyliss New Spinning Brush , £39.99. I have one and it’s the next best thing to a salon smooth blow dry.

Alternatively, one of the other biggest trends on the catwalk was super smooth, poker straight hair with a glass-like finish which looks modern and super chic. To get this look add the GHD Wonderland Styler , £135 to your Christmas wishlist. Nothing glides through frizz and fluff quite like it.